LAWS ON MENTAL HEALTH

INTRODUCTION

Being Healthy is one of the most important parts of our life. Since one’s birth, our health is always considered the priority. Being healthy boosts our self-esteem, helps us remain fit, and cope up with stress. Mental health has a great impact on our life. It deals with emotional and social well-being. It can affect the way we think, feel or act. To remain mentally stable is very important for living a happy and successful life.

The prevailing global health crisis has disturbed many people. The lockdown scenario all over the world led to people not able to run their businesses or offices and working from home. The pandemic was completely unanticipated and we were not prepared for it. The working class completely had to cope up with new working methodologies, learn and get used to technology. Not only adults but even children were affected. They never thought that the pandemic would grow so deadly which will lead to the termination of offline classes. They survived and are still surviving the online classes where it is difficult to concentrate and cope up with the teaching methodology. Increased screen time, plus the extra work allotted to be completed just end up sitting and spending their day completely before the screen. All these leads to extra pressure and stress on students that they become mentally disturbed. A study of over 59,000 Icelandic adolescents found that Covid-19 had a significant, detrimental impact on adolescent mental health, especially girls.[1]

If one is suffering from the disease, he or she is quarantined where again they just spend almost 2 weeks in a room alone. This again engages them in various sad thoughts and makes them more depressed. This breaks them from inside and imbalances their mental health. The most important thing to be focused on is creating awareness among people about what is mental health. Today most people around the world have no idea about what mental health is and if one might be mentally disturbed, he might not even know about it. The first step should start with educating everyone about mental health and how important it is for everyone to be mentally healthy. Government campaigns should be redirected to spread awareness regarding mental health issues so that even the low-profile and high-profile communities are not deprived of information that surrounds mental health.

As we have seen in the past few years, there were many high-profile suicides have occurred in our country and this number keeps on increasing year by year. Here is the requirement for the government to step in and provide some assistance to people who are suffering from some kind of mental health issues like stress or depression. Government should start including benefits or plans related to mental health illness and people should be provided with subsidies for it so that whether the person is rich or poor he should have proper access to medication and health care facilities.

Mental health is of utmost importance in countries like the US in any kind of situation. If a person is returning from war or if a person has some post-trauma disorder, in every kind of situation a therapist is provided to the person who will take of all the mental health issues of the person. So, in this way the US is able to reduce the number of deaths due to mental health issues each year and even they are able to provide good assistance to people who are going through some or other issue related to mental health. There was a case where a person tried to commit suicide to live on Facebook but the police and concerned authorities were able to reach the location on time and stop the person from taking such a step. Such people who after taken in custody should be provided with proper health care and a therapist so that they can proceed on reviving and getting healthier and make them realize what it is to live life healthily.

NEED TO IMPLEMENT LAWS RELATED TO MENTAL HEALTH

Mental health laws should be written in a precise manner because again there is a possibility that people might take advantage of it. There must be no loopholes in the law. For instance, if a person is murdering someone in the complete presence of a healthy, stable mind and no mental health issue, he should not be able to take the advantage of the law saying that at that time he was mentally ill. The law should not encourage criminals to use it inappropriately under them. Thus, mental health laws must be very much precise and working along a line of the boundary where they are neither being abused by anyone nor they are written so leniently that no person could be benefitted from it and make proper use of the law.

Progress in the development of mental health is slow in middle and low-income countries in the world. There are many barriers like very few numbers professionals trained to look after and supervise the mental health issues of the patients, non-implementation of mental health care in primary services, not enough awareness about mental health issues and their importance. Due to all these reasons, people hesitate to talk about their mental issues openly in public and do not think it is important for them to talk about them and visit a therapist. According to research, more than 35% of parents reported a barrier to mental health services.[2] These include their approach towards mental health, disbelieve in services offered, and constraints related to the system.

CONCLUSION

To sum up by saying that investment in the mental health care sector especially in the primary health care sector is required provided that they train, supervise and support the workers. The policymakers should focus mainly on strategies that help in reducing barriers related to mental health, people’s perceptions regarding mental problems, and the services provided. Laws regarding mental health should be framed in such a way that it should neither be lucrative nor people are easily able to take advantage of it.

Author(s) Name: Nethra Vaishnav Nimbawat (Student, NMIMS, Bangalore)

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[1] Hindustan Times, Covid-19 has had a significant impact on the mental health of adolescents: Study, https://www.hindustantimes.com/lifestyle/health/covid19-has-had-significant-impact-on-mental-health-of-adolescents-study-101623037210006.html, (last visited June 7, 2021).

[2] Pamela L. Owens, Kimberly Hoagwood, Sarah M. Horwitz, Philip J. Leaf, Jeanne M. Poduska, Sheppard G. Kellam, Nicholas S. Ialongo, ‘Barriers to Children’s Mental Health Services’, Journal of the America Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Vol.14, Issue 6, 2010 pp. 731-738.

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